The LSCE Initiative is led by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with partners at country, regional and global levels. It brings together the active contribution of the Arab League Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ALECSO), along with Ministries of Education and other national institutions responsible for education across the MENA countries. Regional and global partners include: Aflatoun International, the Arab Institute for Human Rights (AIHR), Birzeit University (BZU), Deutsche Post DHL Group, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Youth Foundation (IYF), Mercy Corps, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Save the Children, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA), the World Bank, and the World Food Programme (WFP).
The LSCE Initiative proposes a holistic and transformative vision of education based on four essential premises:
A holistic approach to education: The vision is underpinned by a holistic approach to education, considering the whole learner by acknowledging the multi-dimensionality of education, which plays not only into the cognitive, but also the individual and social realms, especially with regard to personal development, social cohesion and sustainable development.
A humanistic and right-based approach: Quality education is not value-neutral and must have a transformative effect. Quality education needs to be sustained by a strong ethical foundation, which recognizes that education fosters human dignity, before economic performance, and promotes human rights-based values.
A life-long learning cycle: Life skills acquisition is understood as a cumulative investment from an early age, not only for adolescents and for adults. It builds on the assumption that, at every age, every individual is a learner in the context of a society that offers multiple opportunities throughout life to learn and fulfil personal potential, thus going beyond the traditional distinctions between initial and continuing education.
A multiple pathways and systems approach: Quality education can be effective in fostering learning and individual empowerment, and creating an environment that enables social inter-connectedness. If life skills and citizenship education is furthered through multiple learning pathways, from formal education to informal settings to the workplace, it can reach all individuals. In turn, quality learning through life skills and citizenship education can be sustained only if it is mainstreamed in educational systems.